Grays & Torreys- My 2nd and 3rd 14er!

hiking

Last weekend, I finally completed a goal I have had for the past year…to hike another 14er! Colorado has 58 mountains that tower over 14,000 feet. We call them 14ers, and they provide a beautiful and worthy hiking/climbing challenge. If you want to read more about them, you can do so here: What are 14ers?

My boyfriend and I were sitting at a friend’s BBQ debating if we should do it last week, and we did the one thing you should never (read: always!) do when you are debating something difficult. We told everyone our plan. This led to a peer-pressured evening of going to bed at 8pm and waking up at 2:30am. Yes, you read it right. We woke up at 2:30 in the G-D morning, and we hopped in the car. Then, we sped through the winding, wicked roads for 1.5-2 hours until we reached the trailhead at 5:00am.

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Peak of Grays!

Weary from the ride, we tried to shake off the cold and lack of sleep, and we set off on the trail by 5:05am. Headlamps blazing, we set off into the dark. I haven’t done much hiking before sunrise, so I was really excited. I loved the child-like excitement of walking through the wilderness in the pitch black. Who knows what kind of critters were eyeing our movements!

The best part of waking up early and getting outside is being fully present for the slow sunrise. It was my favorite part of the hike. For the 1 hour or so period of the slowly creeping sun, I looked behind me about 7 trillion times. It was so beautiful and quiet that I couldn’t help but swell up in gratitude. Sighhhhhh.

The hike itself wasn’t too steep or too challenging for most of the way up. I found myself facing other unforeseen challenges, though. My hydration bladder froze, or at least the important part did (the tube that transports the water to my mouth). I didn’t have water for most of the hike. Neither did my boyfriend, Adam. The other primary challenge was the wind. Holy glory, was it strong!

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Fighting the winds on Torreys peak.

But, despite a genuine concern for whether I could be blown off the mountain peaks, we made it to both peaks in one piece and relatively good spirits.

Pro tip #1: Pack a buff

Pro tip #2: Blow your water out of the tube back into the reservoir to minimize tube freezing risk.

Pro tip #3: Take a picture even if the wind is threatening to liquefy you.

Pro tip #4: Do the hard thing. It is usually worth it!

We finished our hike around 10:15 am, making the total hike time about 5 hours.

Final thing to note: Although it is *just a hike*, 14ers are challenging and there are many risks associated with high altitude hikes. Do your research, be prepared, and leave it like you find it.

PS: There were some goats hanging out around 14,000 feet on Torreys. Crazy goats!

Day 46: Spring it!

My 500 Words

Today is the day we all set our clocks an hour ahead and feel a little extra sleepy. That means that the day that the earth, where I live, enters official spring season in just less than 2 weeks. How very exciting for us! Spring skiing is something I have been looking forward to since moving here, and I am excited for what that is like. I am excited for spring. Even though Colorado winters are beautiful, the very cold days are so very uncool. I feel trapped in my apartment when it gets to certain low temps. I will be ready for 50 degree days on a more frequent basis. Bring it, spring!

I bought two books yesterday by James Michener, one about Colorado and one about Hawaii. His books are apparently fictional tales that weave across generations, while telling the history of a location. It sounds pretty cool, and the books are meaty! Wooo. But, I own them. No one buys me books anymore, so I am excited about this. Nothing like having a mother in town to buy you random crap. 😀

Today, we are going to drive into Estes Park and into Rocky Mountain National Park.

….

I am going back into this post now at 10:00 PM. I have 300 words left to write, and everyone is looking at me like I am a crazy person! They want to know what I am doing. I am not sure why I am secretive about posting this. If I tell my mom. SHE WILL READ THIS. It would not be ideal. I am not hiding anything, but I don’t like to share too much. BUT, my mom and I had great fun. I am excited to get back to normal life, but I do love her oh so very much. She is my greatest friend, and I miss her already. We have been having fun, and I wish she lived down the street. How great would it be if we could all live exactly where we want and then pick and choose which of our friends or family moved close to us. What a dream that would be. I think we have all been dreaming of that our entire lives.

Alas, here I am desperately writing this in order to complete my 500 words for the day. It is unfortunate because these words won’t be any good, but they will be 500 in total. Almost there!

The mountains are beautiful, and Colorado is the best. I do love this state so very much. I don’t know about forever, but I do know about right this very moment. And, I am exactly where I should be…exactly where I want to be. That is a pretty cool thing. I am among some of the most beautiful landscape in the country, and I just want to be present. I am present.

Thank you God for these beautiful mountains and this majestic landscape that I have the privilege of calling home for however long I call it home. I am blessed beyond measure. Thank you. Thank you for spring! Bring it on, baby.